Thursday, July 20, 2017

Remember Why You Started

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
Albert Einstein

Grey, not Black and White
Think back to when you finally broke through and landed that first big job. Whether it was in leadership or not, you soon realized two important things:
- the greater the responsibility you have, the greater the impact you can make
- the greater the responsibility you have, the greater the pressure coming at you from all directions

Finding the balance between the these two things, and not losing your energy and enthusiasm can be a challenge!

The pressure, unclear road ahead, changing dynamics in the workplace, and self-talk inspired depression can often get in the way of why you started down this path in the first place.

Acceptance and Action
There is a fairly straightforward way to deal with these pressures however; one that is often overlooked.

Accept them.

Whether or not something "should be this way" or "should be that way" we must accept the reality that the world is not going to operate exactly the way we think it should.

Accept them.

Feeling frustrated with our colleagues once in a while, wishing we could have avoided a communication failure, or believing we should have removed a poor performer sooner are all normal. Getting ourselves all worked up however, or worse, spending extra time lamenting it all is incredibly counterproductive.

"When we accept the fact that the world of work is never going to be perfect, we free ourselves to remember why we were so excited about work in the first place." 

There are still many opportunities to make a difference. 
There are endless chances to impact another person's life. 
There are no limits to what we can do.

How About You
What is getting in your way as you think about work? Have you allowed yourself to become so frustrated that you spend your days feeling down and depressed? Or, will you decide to accept that we all have our failings, but they should never stand in the way of why we love what we do?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

I've Arrived!

The desire to 'play' at the highest level is a powerful aphrodisiac. Whether in sports, academia, research, entertainment, or climbing the corporate ladder, the laser focus to get to the top is sometimes a hindrance to our success.

Chasing Glory
For many professionals, that first taste of a high level role feels like winning a career championship game. The new found power can often be confused with having "arrived." 

Is that big promotion an end point to a long quest? 

Is that breakthrough job offer an affirmation of what you've always believed you could be?

If the answer was yes, the risks to future success just became exponentially more complicated. You see, chasing the glory of career success is actually a never ending series of milestones and new beginnings.

Years of hard work and professionalism can lead to exciting opportunities. Those opportunities, in effect, are a reset of everything you once knew. The previous behavior, routine, and internal peer network all change. 

You have to be open to change too.

Learning the Role, Not the Tasks
The most important step many successful new leaders miss is the ramp up phase into learning "how" to do their new job. Not focusing exclusively on the tasks listed on their new job description.

Think about that for a second...learning the role, not the work.

How does a junior executive behave? What interpersonal skills are now mandatory, regardless of what feels comfortable? 

Is a fragile ego going to be put to the side in order to do the work, make decisions, and earn respect? 

Or...will the previous goal of "most popular rising leader" be the label that supersedes all else?

How About You
Who do you know that is very talented, yet has not invested the time to learn their role? How are they doing? Could they use your trusted consultative support?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Expectations and Engaged Employees

The concept of employee engagement is used so frequently in the world of work, I often see my leadership colleagues in a variety of industries roll their eyes when it comes up in conversation.

Yet, they publicly espouse the value and priority of having an engaged workforce...that it will make a huge difference in the performance of their companies...and that without it they will fall behind their competition.

Wait, what? 

I think I've stumbled onto one of the disconnects between leaders and engaged employees.


The Leader Lens
In my experience, I see many leaders wishing they could somehow "see" or "feel" the engagement of the employees. I'm not entirely sure what this means though.

- Should there be big smiles all day every day?

- Should there be verbal expressions of gratitude?
- Should there be public displays of a$$ kissing?

Regardless the expectation, the notion that a tangible behavior validates a degree of workforce engagement seems to be more important than whether or not they actually are engaged in the first place.

The Employee Lens
Here's my candid take on the employee side of the engagement issue. 

Create a positive energy in the workplace, prioritize their needs, be supportive and inclusive, share as much as you can as quickly as possible, pay competitively, recognize good performers and remove poor ones, be accessible to the team, be clear on expectations and performance, don't trick yourself into believing your job title makes you smarter than the team, laugh at yourself, be honest, be fair, be human.

Oh, and I don't think they necessarily want to jump up and down in joyful praise...they just want to do a good job.

How About You
Try strapping the employee lens on when you walk out of your office this afternoon. How does your world look now? Any different?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Social Media Ad Buys and Recruiting

If you're like most Talent Acquisition leaders, you're trying to figure out how to use social media tools to maximize exposure for your open positions. 

Well, there is far more to it than just dropping links all over the Internet!

Which platform is best for your positions?

How do you target the right talent?

Is recruitment marketing the same on each social media channel?

To learn how to rock your social media spend, check out this post from Kris Dunn over at The HR Capitalist or... the new Kinetix white paper now!

It's time to get in the game!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Still I Rise

"I thought I had the promotion all locked up...I can't believe it went to someone else."

"This company...this perfect for me. How come they won't even give me an interview?"

"There is so much going on in my personal life, I'm not sure I can keep up at work."

"After all of my years here it's going to end like this? What am I supposed to do now?"

"They went with a different vendor...but, how? We are exactly what they need."

"My new boss has changed everything...I used to be valued, not so much."

The End of Days
Can you relate to any of the statements above? If we're honest with ourselves, they might hit a little too close to home. But, for me, that means they are real. 

Real is good.

When the world seems to be crashing down around us, whether it's personally or professionally, we often feel overwhelmed. Desperation, hopelessness, and even despair can creep into our minds. It's as if everything we had worked so hard for was evaporating right before our eyes.

But, what may feel like the end of days, is quite honestly, not even close to the end.

New Days
But, how does one move from a dark place, to a place of momentum, progress, and action?

Let's frame things up first:
- it's not about simple "trust" in your organization
- it's not about just "going with the flow"
- it's actually about making your own decisions!

Put your thoughts on paper:
- get them out of your head
- work on them
- improve them!

Take action each day:
- update your resume
- spend an hour making your LinkedIn profile look the way it should
- reach out to several colleagues in your network each day
- taking action means you are gaining control of your circumstances!

How About You
In the dark times, consider a new mantra..."Still I Rise." When the outlook is so bleak that you hear your self-talk machine spinning out of control...consider a new mantra...

Still I Rise!

You can be unstoppable...if you make the decision to be.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When Employees Make Mistakes

Question: How many of us have team members that have stumbled?

Answer: All of us.

Reactions, Fear and True Colors
Mistakes are one of the most important opportunities for leaders to demonstrate to the rest of the team what they are all about. Are anger, harsh words or the proverbial cold shoulder part of your leadership playbook "to make a point?" Guess what? 

You are an abject failure. 

Strong words? Yep. 

Accurate? Hell, yes.

If we take a moment and put ourselves in the place of our employee who has made the error, we must realize they are feeling more anxiety than we are. They have failed. They are "in trouble." They may even have put their employment status in jeopardy.

Now, which one of us is more stressed?

In that moment when we feel a surge of energy, and the myriad consequences are rapidly processing through our heads...

...that is exactly when we need to show who we are as leaders. Our true colors.

Being Evaluated
What is often forgotten in our haste to react, to correct the error, and to normalize operations, is that not only is the employee watching our every move; but so is the rest of the team.

If you still believe that employees are not discussing when and how they are held accountable for their mistakes you are completely out of touch with reality.

Instead, consider those moments as the perfect chance to balance accountability with compassion. Take a moment to consider what you will say, and how you will deliver the message. I call this the "one second rule" - literally, give yourself one second to decide.

The manner in which you treat the employee will be shared, discussed, and evaluated either positively or negatively. Quite honestly, I'm counting on that discussion to occur. It is an opportunity to give real insight into one's leadership style under a very private set of circumstances that is not readily visible.

How About You
Do you want to be known as some sort of prehistoric leadership dinosaur that "goes off" on people? Or, would you prefer to be known as the leader who is fair, approachable, but still firm when necessary? 

One last question..have you ever made a mistake? How did you want to be treated?

I thought so.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Secret Talent Weapon You're Wasting

Every organization I speak with "wants" to be a contemporary player in the ongoing struggle to attract talent. However, most have no idea how to leverage social or digital tools to make that desire a reality.

Sadly, one of the most powerful and frequently overlooked weapons available is walking in and out of the front door every day.

The employees.

Brand Ambassadors
Whether we call them brand ambassadors, employee advocates, or formal members of the recruitment marketing team, there is no voice more powerful than the voice of the those that have already committed to representing the employer brand.

Let's leave the whole "building an employer brand strategy" discussion for another post, and focus on the massive amount of horsepower that is ready, willing and able to launch that strategy right now.

The first step is easy and effective: identify the employees who are already on social, or who have expressed an interest in being more active on social platforms.

If you think it is impossible to find these internal superusers, you are actually saying more about how out of touch you are vs. expressing frustration with the process. If you haven't kept up with the changes in the world of work, of course it will be difficult to identify your own brand champions.

Start Small, Go Big
A simple search of the various social channels will help you identify who is actively supporting your employer brand. Set up a twitter list to help keep track of the team's efforts quickly and efficiently.

Next, reach out to those individuals and draft them into service as part of your overall employer brand strategy.

Formalize the support you provide your initial core group of brand champions with training, guidance, content recommendations, and support. From there, you can add new employees to the group in a thoughtful and coordinated way.

How About You
There really is no excuse to hide behind the fear of social media. It is a core component of every industry. In fact, your employees are probably wondering why you don't ask them to help. They are already advocating for your company, you just don't know it!

The only thing standing in your you. Let me help!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.